Monday, 27 September 2010

Personal Pods

I was recently asked to design some posters for my friend and nieces bedrooms with a unique, personal feel to them. They required a poster what explained there passion and love for music and to also highlight there personality. I decided to take some pictures with my digital camera and place them in Illustrator and see what I could come up with. I feel the final results answer the brief as each poster will have a different look and feel as the body type is unique.

Mara Graphics

I was recently advised to create a logo for myself as I have been freelancing more often now leaving university. This is the first stage of my design and hope to improve on this. Future designs will be made in the next few weeks.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Polo Advertising Campaign

I recently noticed some work by the Partners and CHI for Pole's. The copy writing and design is fantastic. I very much like how they have used the product within the idea. Involving the audience is one massive positive within advertising and within this campaign, the idea of asking if your a sucker or a cruncher reflects to how you as an individual use the product.

Rick Klesewetter

A talk was held at the Truman Brewery from designer/comedian Rick Klesewetter. He was once a designer at
McCann Erickson but left to be freelancer. When leaving, he created some fantastic stationary, which won him a number of awards. His talk was very funny but also inspiring. Rick is very high within the advertising industry and some of his work stands out a great deal. One piece was the Virgin interactive add, which targeted individuals who walked past the moving screen in Liverpool. Rick explained that involving humour within your ideas is always a positive tool to use. He explained that when your work is personal, it's different to most ideas what have already been done or is currently being designed. One particular message I was greatly impressed with was when he began to talk about beginning a project. He explained 'Don’t start from an empty page, start with an idea. Good design and advertising is about surprise/wit for me''. I have contacted Rick a few times with my work and he is very helpful and inspiring on advertising and design.

Creative Cherry

Another workshop I attended while at New Blood was visiting design agency Creative Cherry, which was held not to far from Brick Lane. Cherry was founded in 2006 and has been progressing greatly within the past four years. A number of graduates attended the talk and it was very insightful to hear what advice both the creative directors Mark and Tom of Cherry had to say. From contacting agencies to organising a portfolio for different interviews, having that information I feel is vital at this stage of my design career. They talked about their own experiences when dealing with print deadlines, clients and also art direction. Keeping up a good attitude and staying positive seemed to be a strong point with the pair. Being passionate about your work will always be a positive area to have as a designer and that will never go away.

Cogs Recruitment Agency

Also while being at New Blood, I arranged a workshop with Cogs Agency which specialise in recruiting within the design filed. I had a meeting with Liam Morgan who sat down and talked through my work. Liam was very helpful and advised me to think what area of design I want to be involved in. It was established in that meeting that I was more of a creative designer and more passionate about the idea and design basis. We talked about web developing and moving image in regards to advertising and Liam helped me with contacts and websites for great information. I feel the talk was greatly important to who I was as a designer and it has helped me focus on the area I wish to be involved in for the future.


While in London at D&AD's New Blood, I was lucky to spend some time at JWT, one of the biggest advertising agencies in the world. On the first night of the exhibition, only three members from each university was allowed to represent the work stand. The opening night was only for the creative industry and required a personal invite from D&AD themselves. I was lucky to show some of my work to a different range of designers and creative directors and JWT was impressed with my attitude and passion regarding my work. This led to me visiting the studio and I had a fantastic time. I gained a great deal of knowledge about the industry of advertising and was introduced to many creative people. While being at JWT, I attended brian storms with over twenty designers for a number of different briefs, had portfolio feedback and worked on some projects involving Nokia and Shell.

D&AD New Blood 2010

While on my internship at Manchester United, I also attended D&AD's New Blood exhibition in London this past June. The experience of talking through my work with the creative industry first hand was fantastic and I was lucky to meet a number of different designers and creative directors. Each university held a stand in different sizes across the Old Truman Brewery in Brick Lane with hundreds of graduates showing all different projects from re-brading companies to advertising campaigns. To stand out from the rest of the stands, as a group, myself and others from my university held a One Minute Brief session where anyone who wished to set a brief, a solution would need to made within 60 seconds. This was very successful and attracted many creative directors and designers.

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Litter Bus Stop Advert

I have decided to carry on working towards my project with the National Football Museum by thinking of new ways to promote and advertise the venue. I had come across this ad to indicate how much rubbish is dropped around one single area. The clever usage of garbage which piles up in the bus stop communicates a strong message with the audience greatly that if no one had cleaned the mess up, the area would be very untidy.

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Wedding Anniversary

A few weeks ago, my auntie and uncle had asked for me to design something what I felt represented them for their wedding anniversary. As I calmly took my time before the three week deadline, I wanted to design something which would last for long time but also have something special within their hearts. As the family are very close, I began to analyse how my auntie and uncles relationship reflected within the time I have known them, which is all my life. As I thought more around this area, it had become clear to me memories were always something they were passionate about. I decided to use images which clearly had a story or memory which were in their hearts. I designed a layout, used a greyscale feature in Photoshop plus some gradient applications and a few other tools in the software and printed the A2 document as a whole image on canvas. I was thrilled to know they loved it and my auntie actually cried. I felt very honoured.


I received my degree results a few weeks ago and was happy to see my mark as a Two, One. Although results have very little meaning within the design industry due to the structure and class of your portfolio, having a grade such as this will look great on my CV if my life may turn towards another direction in the future. I would like to think this will not be the case as my passion and love of design becomes stronger but if so, I feel confident within myself to approach the next stage in my career.

Save The Date Birthday Cards

I was recently approached by my sister to design some Save the Date cards for her daughters 18th Birthday Party. As this was a brief I had never really done before, I decided to incorporate the one minute brief method to see what ideas I could come up with. After a number of ideas, I remember hearing the question, What do you do before part B? After thinking about the question, I was greatly impressed with the fact I had to think about the answer to get the message, which in many cases is normal but this had a unique twist to it. As the answer is Part A, changing the message to another area sends out a completely different message which works greatly. I began to use this idea for the cards and feel happy with the design. I decided to use a business card which was double sided. As well as designing for this project, I once again dealt with the printers and it was very useful to get the experience.

Friday, 7 May 2010

Unit Editions - Adrian Shaughnessy and Tony Brook

After meeting
Adrian Shaughnessy, myself and fellow class mates attended his and Tony Brooks talk regarding their recently published book Studio Culture. I was unaware of the book until a number of colleges introduced me to their copy. Although I was only able to have a quick look through it, I was intrigued to know about how and why it was produced. As Adrian had published a number of books in the past (including How To Be a Graphic Designer Without Loosing Your Soul), I was certain Studio Culture was an important booklet to my collection. As the talk began, Tony Brook introduced himself and explaind a brief background to his working history. He explained that he was fascinated with graphic design and feels inspired and motivated by just talking about the subject.

In his words, Tony described himself as a ''Design Addict''. Tony was co founder and creative director for design studio Spin, which is now highly regarded as one of the best agencies in the country. He explained that he has always felt upbeat and highly motivated with a book. The design and feel of a particular paper weight or how the cover is printed inspired him greatly towards publication. Tony explained while designing the book Logo, Spin had lost profit when being published. Tony felt this was a learning curve but was intrigued to produce more publications.

Adrian began to explain his background and how his involvement with Tony had begun. Co founder of Intro in 1989, the London based agency had mainly worked on Music sleeves. Clients such as Bobby Newton, Fabric and Depeche Mode helped Intro become a high class agency. After fifteen years, Adrian had got restless and explained that he found it difficult to work on projects with guidelines and demands from other people. Adrian explained ''I got frustrated with no information to people on the grubby areas in design. What do I do if a client hates six weeks of work and refuses to pay?'' After publishing his first book Sampler: Contemporary Music Graphic, he then went on to publish How To Be A Graphic Designer Without Loosing Your Soul.

As both Tony and Adrian had relative careers, they had ironically met in a pub, which led to them both discussing publication and the areas they could both explore. From here, Unit Editions was slowly coming together. They explained the book is about how studios all around the world are organised differently. They document twenty eight leading studios with interviews from creative directors and designers and the book documents how studios work and how organised they are within deadlines and dealing with briefs. Unit Editions , founded by both Adrian and Tony are currently developing more books to be published in the future.

Adrian Shaughnessy - Q and A

Around two weeks ago, D&AD announced that graphic designer and writer Adrian
Shaughnessy was holding a talk at the Printworks in Manchester. Before hand, it was arranged by design agency Thoughtful for twelve students to attend a forty-five minute question and answer session at a local bar. As Adrian arrived, their was a great anticipation for what his advice would be from our questions at hand. The experience of meeting an inspirational figure for everyone involved was a great opportunity I was looking forward to it. Adrian began by talking about students getting a job and what next steps to take when leaving university. He advised that contacting agencies, sending letters, making personal phone calls for a one to one chat and perfecting e-mails was just the first steps towards gaining an interview.

When showing your work, Adrian suggested that leaving the designer to go through your portfolio by letting them touch and feel the sleeves was key as it leaves you to explain each project however fast they want to look at it. When contacting an agency, Adrian advised that getting a name was a great first step to building a relationship up with yourself and a designer who in the future, could possibly lead to a job. One important area when writing a letter or e-mail was to never use sir or madam. Adrian explained that your message is sent to a particular individual and without one, it could be easily ignored. Explaining who you are and what projects you have been recently been working on was useful but do not over do it. As the designer will only be reading your message very quickly, keeping your text short and informative is significant.

Making a list of the design agencies you wish to work for was another area the group discussed. When you graduate, Adrian explained that you are part of the design world looking for a job. Standing out in the crowd was the most important area to think about and besides improving your portfolio, sending your CV in a unique way gained many advantages. Adrian told a story of when he was at Intro (his design agency in London), a package was delivered with the words Bomb on the cover. The building was evacuated and caused a huge scare within the workplace. On a closer inspection, the package was infact a recent graduates CV. When sending some samples of work, putting together too much may be straining on the designer looking as they have very little time to evaluate your ideas.

I decided to ask a few questions regarding placements and if they are vitally important towards getting a job within a high standard agency. Adrian explained that when offered a placement, ask yourself if it’s right for you. Will the agency pay for your travel costs? Will you learn one vital area of the industry a day? Are they taking the time for at least five minutes to explain what they are doing? Although I feel placements are vital, Adrian advised that sometimes agencies take advantage of an eager graduate unaware of certain areas within the industry. When on a placement however, showing a willingness to help out around the studio reflects to how well you wish to achieve with that company. Once again, Adrian told a story of how a student on an internship at Intro lifted over thirty heavy boxes filled with paper from one area of the building to the other without being asked. Showing a determination to do any job and show a willingness to help at any level sets good impressions towards the people above you.

Manchester City Advertising - Thank You

Today, it was the final deadline for the final major project. I have completed the identity for the National Football Museum with a new logo, two end-stings (ten second animations), a teaser poster advertising campaign, a guerrilla advertising campaign, a book, stationary and flyer. It was a hard but rewarding project and I feel proud with the finished pieces. Today, it had come to my attention from surface designer Jake Platt, that Manchester City had posted an ad which thanked their supporters for the past season. What struck me greatly was the similar typography to the Pride in Battle banners located on the swirly walkway at the ground. Designed by Music, the similar idea of using the involvement of every season ticket holder within a series of advertisements and messages works greatly and shows a consistency throughout.

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

One Hour YCN Bacardi Brief

While dealing with the FMP and the Metro D&AD brief in March, working on two projects at the same time was very challenging. Other class mates decided to enter competition briefs from D&AD and YCN and we all felt the pressure when dealing with the deadline but also generating ideas for the FMP. After my Metro work was printed, I felt relieved that the pressure of one project was gone and was happy to solely concentrate on my major project. After a few days, I realised that working under pressure can bring the best out of your capabilities. I felt motivated to look at some YCN briefs and possibly try to find a solution to a project of my choosing. I decided to see what results I would get with just an hours time for the
Bacardi brief. The task was to create some posters with a flirting appeal to the audience. I feel the final results are not good enough to consider going in my portfolio or in fact entering in the competition, but I felt trying to find a solution within such a short space of time helps improve your abilities within thinking and speed as a designer .

Monday, 26 April 2010

Typographic Solutions

While developing my FMP posters, I have been pushing my ideas towards creating images and shapes with type and producing a unique look to each idea. I had come across these typographic designs while researching a blog on the Internet called Abduzeedo. Besides posting different graphic solutions, the blog also had tutorials for software’s and ideas development.

Friday, 23 April 2010

Unwanted Clothes Advertisement

This past week, as I walked past a bin, I had noticed an interesting advertisement for unwanted clothing. I was surprised in myself to be engaged with this advert as I tend not to focus on such an area when walking through a busy environment. The look and style of this ad reminded me of the Metro project I had recently completed. I feel the copywriting is written well and the location of advertising the idea is very effective.

The Urbis Museum - Closed

As my FMP is focused around the National Football Museum moving to the Urbis in Manchester, I once again made a visit to the location for a better understanding of the features including the outside area, the landmarks passed from the public transport stations towards the Urbis and the style and structure of the building. The development for the museum has now begun and I feel my ideas will be interesting to compare when the museum opens.


Today while walking through Manchester town centre, I noticed this window display in an arts and crafts shop called Noise. I felt the strong vibrant colours and illustrated characters looked surreal but also fun to engage with. While visiting the website located at the bottom of the window, I was surprised to read the company represented designers from any age or background with advice on different ways to show your work in the industry. ''Noise is not your typical arts festival. It has no physical location; the central hub of activity takes place on the Noise website and across the media - print, television, radio and online - making it the first 'virtual' festival of its kind in Europe''. I look forward to receiving their newsletter and hope to gain some knowledge and help from Noise in the future.

Dave Sedgwick

Today I made a visit to Dave Sedgwick at design agency 999. I was looking forward to his opinion on my work as I had made a great deal of changes towards my portfolio. As I arrived, we instantly began to discuss my work and the areas which Dave felt needed improvement. As I presented the Ringo Starr piece, Dave felt the colours and shape of the portrait was strong and vibrant. One change I had made for this visit was documenting my creative process of the oil print and showing this in the portfolio spread. This helped greatly as Dave fully understood the process within the design. He suggested that to take the project further, I should think about making three other prints involving the other band members of the Beatles to make a strong advertising campaign.

As we discussed the Guggenheim end sting, Dave felt the flicker book was a great way of communicating the idea. One project I had worked on over the Easter holidays was the New York Bowling logo completed last year within a group. As each member was eligible to take the brief further in our own way, I had produced some guerrilla advertising involving a bus stop creating a campaign with the logo. Dave felt the idea was fun but asked if their was many bus stops in New York. He then suggested that I may think about using the idea in the Subway. We discussed the one minute briefs and the new Ping Pong packaging I had done recently. He felt the art work was neatly finished and felt the presentation was strong and professional. Dave did however question the use of lines on the box. He suggested that recording the movement of three different real life games with the movement of the ball then incorporate that within my design would show each piece of packaging have a different style representing a real life game.

As we moved on to the Metro project, I explained the creative process within my first idea to the finished entered in D&AD. After discussing some failed ideas and how I felt certain areas didn't work, he felt the illustrated arrows and the names of each destination worked best. Dave felt changing the type to a more illustrative style and reducing the amount of arrows may communicate the idea better. We moved on to the BBC project which I had also worked on during the Easter period. I had combined the two booklets together and made the document size A6 for the consumer to place in their back pocket so the booklet can be with them on the move. As I explained this to Dave, he fully approved the changes and felt the illustrations was a great way of designing the layout.

I was anticipating Dave's thoughts on my FMP and the stage with my advertising campaign. As I currently develop my ideas within the project, he felt I am worrying to much on how the posters look. He advised that I should stop trying new ideas and stick to my original plan of communication regarding a past idea I had moved on from and recently developed more of. As I shown Dave more development work, he was happy to see my thinking process and research I had explored. He advised that I should now concentrate on making the posters look strong and also think about making the project as big as I can. Designing a flyer, shopping bag and signage were some of the things Dave suggested I should explore. As the visit came to an end, Dave was eager for me to send my finished ideas in the future.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Paul Rand Typography

As my Journal was completed this past January, I had looked at the work of Paul Rand and researched his history. I enjoyed his thinking and creative process greatly and recently, I had noticed some type posters on Creative Review blog. The use of space and colour is neatly designed and I plan to use this element within my ideas in the future.

Umbro Poster

While researching more design work involving football, I had come across a designer who had recently left Love Creative, former creative director Rory Sutherland. He now freelances but on his website, shows past work with the agencies he has worked for. I had noticed some Umbro designs for a booklet and poster Rory and Ste Owen had designed in 2009. I had discussed this project with Ste in the past and while generating new ideas and progressing further with my FMP project, this is a great piece of research towards generating new ideas to what I already have.

True North Posters

While researching past agencies which had held talks over the past two years, I came across some nice typographical posters designed by True North for a printers company. I mostly like how True North has changed each typeface for each poster. I plan to use this element within my posters and look forward to the results.

Manchester City Advertising

I have recently been working on my advertising campaign for my FMP involving football kits and using the elements and features of the shirt. I have begun to feel slightly frustrated with the stage I am currently at due to the art direction the posters are going. I had decided to once again, step away from the design area and look at other campaigns involving football what design agencies are currently doing. After searching the Internet, the Creative Review blog had posted all Music’s Manchester City posters. This past weekend, I had noticed the Carlos Tevez design in the newspaper and remember feeling emotionally intrigued due to my love of the sport and the recent game coming up. One element I wish to execute is to engage the audience with my ideas like these posters. I feel the illustration and use of typography is executed greatly and I plan to explore these methods with my ideas.

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Mick Greer

Today, copy writer Mick Greer came along for a talk about the next steps when graduating. Mick completed a HND graphic design at Blackburn with my tutor Guy Lawrence then attended The School of Communication Arts in London for a year. The talk was greatly useful but also different in reflection to other lectures I had attended in the past. Mick decided not to talk through his work and was more interested explaining the fine details of the next steps a graduate may consider after leaving university. Mick advised that contacting designers and building up a healthy relationship with not just one, but a number of agencies at the same time was vital as knowing people in the industry and having the opportunity of talking through your work helps greatly when maturing as a designer.

Contacting agencies with some direct mail always helps promote yourself as a designer. Many people tend to contact agencies via e-mail but very little put together a sample of work to send out in the post. Mick advised that doing this shows a determination and a unique impression to what type of person you are and how well you want to achieve within the industry. Placements was an interesting topic Mick discussed. As he questioned all the students if we had any placements in the past or have any planned for the near future, a silence drove Mick to explain the importance of gaining experience within a design studio.

Getting your first job when graduating may not be so rewarding as Mick described the jobs no one wishes to do within the agency, you are normally left doing. He advised that you should feel good about being involved with a design team whatever task you have. You should have a drive and determination knowing you are part of the creative industry whatever role you play. Gradually, your hard work will pay off and within time, you will be considered greatly as an important member of the team. Mick explained that this was his experience when getting his first job and after his fellow colleges in the design industry and discussed with him, they had a similar background.

Book Collection Continued

I once again purchased some new books to add to my collection. I had come across some of these design guides recommended by Amazon within the last few months but was unsure if I would get any use out of them. After throughly going through A Smile in the Mind while developing my logo for the FMP, I felt this particular book would be a great addition. I look forward to receiving the D&AD annual and the rest of the books currently in transmission.

Manchester City Advertising

As my progression on the FMP moves forward, I have reached the stage of creating an advertising campaign for the museum. I have once again been exploring typography and copy writing similar to the Metro project. After generating a number of ideas, I am now happy to push a concept involving quotations further. I had noticed some more Manchester City adverts by design studio Music. I feel the use of image and text works well together and the action or pose within the photograph relates to the text cleverly.

Friday, 9 April 2010

Sarah Parker

While arranging a portfolio visit before travelling to London, I contacted design studio The London Branch. I was lucky to speak to Paul Fox, the creative director. He explained that I should contact a week before I travel due to the agencies busy schedule. He also advised that I should send over a sample of projects for himself and his fellow designers to evaluate and get a good understanding of my work. As I called again nearer the time of my trip, Paul unfortunately said he and the studio was to busy and I should think about contacting them another time I visit London. After arriving home, I had a response from senior designer Sarah Parker. She evaluated my projects I had was very positive about my Ringo Starr piece. Sarah advised that when e mailing work, always have your contact details within the pdf as agencies tend to delete your e mail and not store your address. Shara has said I can send over projects and ideas as they develop to get her opinion and advice in the future.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Lino Cuts

I was recently looking through some old work and came across some lino cut outs I had carved around four years ago. I remember the prints looking great every time I used the lino but after a number of goes, the wear and tear was beginning to show with cracks in the design. I have noticed that after some years of being stored, it has become more stronger. I plan to make some new prints and see where I can take the results. Something similar to the Ringo Starr project would be interesting.

Manchester City Advertising

Within my research for the FMP, I tend to use Music's Manchester City advertisements as a great source to learn copy writing and creative artwork for my ideas. I was aware of Music's football work for sometime and greatly appreciated the fine detail in the poster of City player Emmanuel Adebayorr. When discussing this with Craig Oldham around early October, he explained that Music was asked to design a number of posters for some games. The reason behind using Adebayorr as a concept was that the upcoming game being advertised was against Arsenal, the players former club. Craig decided to design a poster with the subjects which the fans and media were discussing around the time of the fixture. Taking the project further and using some vinyl on the floor of the Manchester Arndale shopping centre directly outside the clubs souvenir store worked greatly. Very similar to my approach with the class illustrated design, but much more effective and well executed.